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Related article: Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 09:17:38 -0500 (EST) From: "PublishingTomCup.com" Subject: Airport Voyeur Part 2 by Adam Bricker Chapter 5 - A/Y, AFCopyright 2000-2004 by TomCup.com. All rights reserved.No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, except in the case of reviews, without written permission from TomCup.comThis is a fictional story involving alternative sexual relationships. If this type of material offends you, please do not read any further.This material is intended for mature adult audiences. Names, characters, locations and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.********************************************************************** What's New at TomCup.com?Dirt By Nicholas Nicholby: Chapter 6 Added 10/09 * Mentoring Brandon by Bob Andersen: Chapter 12 Added 10/08 * The MacKenzie Connections By Christian: Chapter 3 Added 10/07 * Airport Voyeur Part 3 By Adam Bricker: Chapter 3 Added 10/02 * St. Benedict's School for Troubled Boys by Tom Cup: Chapter 1 Added 09/26 * Dirt By Nicholas Nicholby: Chapter 5 Added 09/12 * KOABoy by Tom Cup: Chapter 15 Added 09/11 * Words Are Not Necessary By Adam Bricker: Chapter 6 Added 09/10 * The Nasty Boys Club By Tom Cup: Chapter 6 Added 09/09 * The MacKenzie Connections By Christian : Chapter 2 Added 09/07 * Summer Escapades By Bob Andersen: Chapter 11 Added 08/16 * Airport Voyeur Part 3 by Adam Bricker: Chapter 2 Added 08/14 * Dirt By Nicholas Nicholby: Chapter 4 Added 08/12 * Calvin Book 2 Part II by Tom Cup: Chapter 4 Added 08/11 **TomCup.com now offers an Executive Club membership!** Tom Cup's "Of Our Teenage Years" is scheduled for publication and release in paperback in 2004. Check it out at http://www.tomcup.com!********************************************************************** Airport Voyeur Part II Chapter 5 Turning the Promotion Around By Adam P. Bricker AdamBricktomcup.com "Brian, I'll talk with Margarite. She knows my schedule better than I do. If she said I'm available, that's probably the case. Tell me about this law suit.""I never thought I'd have to deal with this. I've always been racially balanced for years and very strong in my affirmative action hiring women. Last week I had a problem with a branch manager and fired the employee.""Well, what is the reason for the suit then?" I asked."They claim I made sexual advances to this branch manager.""Brian, I didn't know you had any female branch managers," I said."I don't this was a guy! They're claiming I assaulted a guy! They must think I'm gay! Adam, I'm married and have three boys. What do they think of me? How am I going to handle this? I need you to come help me prepare a defense." He was very excited. As he'd been talking his blood pressure seemed to be rising."Brian, if Margarite said I can be there, I will. We'll figure this out. When did you get the papers? Today?""Yes, they say I'm putting the moves on another guy! What am I going to do?""Brian, go get a drink. Settle down and I'll be there ASAP. I'm in Colorado Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist for the next four days with a client. I'll have Margarite get tickets and we'll take care of this when I get there."I finished the rest of the call and dropped the receiver in Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist the cradle. How was I going to help a guy defend himself against a sexual harassment suit with what I'd been doing for the last two weeks? *** *** *** *** *** ***Brian looked miserable and obviously had not been getting sleep since I talked to him five days ago. This was not a legal case I was going to get into, for obvious reasons, but Brian was a friend. I wasn't a lawyer and he could handle that part of the situation but I knew Brian and had worked with him and his company for years.Over the last eleven years we'd gone from a good client-consultant relationship to really great friends. At this point I didn't care if this visit was billable or not, I wanted to be there for him."So tell me about the situation," I said. We were sitting in his office with a carafe of coffee and two mugs. On the credenza was a tray of Danish pastries. The office was mostly rosewood furniture with black marble tops. The chairs were Henry Miller probably $1,400 each, the original paintings on the wall were from a local artist in northern Ohio, Ben Richmond; they reminded me of Andrew Wyeth in his early days but with a little more strength. The carpet was not generic `commercial grade' junk but good burgundy plush with an oriental on top of it in the center of the room.Brian had on a forest green shirt with French cuffs. I've never seen a shirt that color with French cuffs, but then knowing Brian, this could be a custom tailored shirt. He was sporting a strong yellow and brown patterned tie, and brown slacks with front pleats. The brown wing-tips completed the ensemble and to all of us he was Mr. GQ."Two weeks ago, I was completing quarterly branch reviews and had gone to Appleton to meet with Julian regarding the store's performance out there. I arrived on Wednesday evening and had dinner with Julian. The store's performance has not been good and we needed to make some changes. On Thursday we spent the day reviewing the financial situation and the marketing. We called in managers from various departments. I talked to employees that had worked there for years and I really felt that Julian was not doing the job we needed in that location. Thursday night we had dinner at my hotel and I tried to explain to him the situation as I saw it. I wanted to bring in another manager and transfer him to a larger location as assistant manager. I spent a lot of time trying to show him the reasons and letting him know that I valued him as an employee. He's been with me for almost five years now. He's younger than most of my managers but had done a good job in the last position and I felt he could handle the promotion."I took another sip of coffee and continued to watch Brian. He continued, "Julian didn't see the problem as I did and wasn't very receptive to the idea of a transfer. We had been discussing it for a couple hours and had a few drinks. I thought it was time to finish drinking and suggested we continue the conversation upstairs in my suite. I wasn't making advances, just wanted to leave the restaurant and the booze. When we got upstairs Julian really changed. He'd had quite a few drinks and wasn't walking very well. I had to help him into the suite and guided him to the couch. He pulled me down on him and hugged me. I tried to get up and get him to release me, but he started bawlling and saying I didn't love him anymore."Things were beginning to come into focus. I could see what had brought this on and now we had something concrete to work on. It wasn't going to be a slam dunk but I think it would be manageable.Brian continued, "I finally got him sitting up, and I sat over in the chair. I started talking to him to find out what he meant and he told me that he had always thought that I gave him this assignment because I loved him and now I was taking it away because I had someone else to give it to. I tried to explain Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist to him that this assignment was not because I loved him but because he was a good employee. He had had too much to drink and wasn't making sense. In fact he was Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist starting to nod off to sleep even as we talked. I didn't want him driving in that condition so I got him up and walked him back to the sleeping room and put him in the other double bed. I didn't even undress him. Then I got ready for bed and slept in the other bed. When he woke up in the morning he was pleading with me not to replace him that he could do the job I wanted, but I had to give him time. I told him we'd been through this last night and in previous memos and I just had to make the change. I told him the transfer was still available, but he was angry with me about that and stormed out." *** *** *** *** *** ***I think we were beginning to get a picture here. Brian had been managing with his head and the financial statements, Julian as a young kid had been managing with his heart or worse yet with his balls. I had to defuse this situation. But it was also possible that Brian had given an impression that he cared more for Julian than he planned."Brian tell me about Julian's early days with your company. Where did he come from and how did he do. He must have been pretty impressive if you moved him to manager so quickly and at his age." I had the feeling we would hear more about the problem if I came from another angle. Usually there is more than one side to each argument."Let's see, five years ago, Anthony came to me with a young kid that he thought would be good in our company. We interviewed him and I was very impressed with his enthusiasm and drive. We placed him here in the main location and as an employee he was unbelievable. He out performed everyone. Managers were just aghast at his performance, work ethic and drive. He was promoted to department manager in six months or so. His attitude was almost contagious. Employees working for him improved almost over night. He was constantly asking questions, he worked evenings on projects and came in the next morning with drawing and plans. I eventually moved him from one department to another until he had served as manager in every department here. Then we made him assistant manager for this location. He did that for about two and a half years and then this position in Appleton came open. It was a branch with poor performance and I wanted his enthusiasm to create the fire there that it had done here. At first it was pretty good, but over the last nine months it's really been slipping. I just don't know what happened. I've sent him emails with specific issues, called him on the phone and other managers have gone up to try and lend their support. Nothing seemed to be working so I finally flew up to get to the bottom of the problem and now I get this.""Tell me about the direction you gave him in his early time with the company, the way that you shared your vision of the company with him. Also what is his family like? Is he married? Children? Parents? What is the background for him?""Anthony had met him though one of his kids. His kid and Julian were friends from school. I don't know his family. He's not married and doesn't have any kids that I'm aware of. He lives by Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist himself and that was one of the nice things about transferring him up there. It was easy to make the move and quickly."Brian sat back and took a deep, deep breath. He Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist stretched and showed a very strong chest and I knew from the last eleven years that he had trouble finding time to exercise but every night after the kids were in bed he went out on the patio and used the jump rope. It may not be the normal exercise for everyone but it fit his schedule and seemed to really have the desired impact on him.He continued, "Your question of the vision of the company is interesting because he is probably the one that I thought had caught the vision the best of every employee I've ever had. You told me that if I found employees who performed and were aligned with my vision I should reward Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist and recognize them. I guess that was what I thought I was doing with Julian. He would come up after the management meetings and ask questions. We talked quite a bit. Sometimes he and I would close the place down. Like many other managers I would have all of them over to the house for picnics and drinks. He seemed to be the one that showed up first and helped set up and the one that stayed latest and cleaned up when everyone else had gone. Some nights I just had him stay in the downstairs guest bedroom when it was really late. We'd have a family breakfast and he'd be off the next morning before lunch. He always got along with Toni and the kids. Toni thought of him as an older child or younger brother. He fit into what was happening in our family very comfortably. Did I cross the line somewhere that I'm not aware of?" he asked."No, I don't think you've crossed the line, but I think you've been naïve. You opened you heart, your company and your life to a kid that you didn't know much about. What you saw was what he wanted you to see. It may have been on purpose or may have been just what he thought you wanted to see. He responded to the attention that you were giving but not seeing exactly what you were meaning. I think what happened is you met a love starved kid and he mistook your attention for love. He did everything to win your approval and you responded by giving him more attention every time he did another job well. Eventually you gave him what you thought was the ultimate reward you promoted him to a branch manager. Did a great job there, huh?"I was leading him to see something that he hadn't planned, but he had created."By promoting Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist him to branch manager you pushed him away. Neither of you saw that at first. He went there thinking he would still get the same attention from you that he had here. You thought he was strong and capable. He is, but his motivation was your approval, not the financial rewards you probably thought he wanted. There may be only a few people that don't respond to financial incentives but they are there. It sounds like Julian is one of them. The longer he was gone and you didn't come and personally inspect his great job, the less he did. As this performance slipped you started criticizing him. That wasn't what you were trying to do, but that's what he saw. You sent emails and memos. You sent other people, and called him into management meeting to discuss what was wrong, but you didn't go there and tell him he was good and that you liked what he had been doing. Your performance criteria didn't mean as much to him as you thought; your presence and attention were what he wanted and you withheld that until two weeks ago. Then when you asked him to come up to your room, he thought finally you had given in to what he really wanted all along.""Where could he get all that? What you just described is so far out there I can't imagine that anyone would ever believe that. He was a good employee but I never led him on or told him that he meant anything personally to me. If that's what he was thinking he's really not playing with a full deck." Brian was embarrassed and I think concerned that I might actually be right. I don't think what I described was that far out there and I think naively Brian may have played into it.In this case you have to remember a number of things. Julian was only about eighteen when he joined the company, a very impressionable age. If my guess is right his home life was not filled with love. Brian was Mr. GQ and really buff. He had a fatherly manner with many of his employees and really watched out for their welfare. I could see this kid just eating the attention up and doing anything to get more. Being taken into the family when he helped with parties and working nights to impress Brian would not be surprising. I'll even go as far as to surmise that the relationship with his father was not that good. Time will tell if I am right in this entire theory."What are we going to do about this? Whether you're right or not I still have this fucking law suit to beat. I need help with this. I have talked to the lawyer and I set up a meeting with him for tomorrow, so that you could talk to him. What else do we need to do? I can't have this happen, Toni is already frantic and the other managers have seemed to look at me sideways before and after meetings for the last week. I wish you could have gotten here sooner.""Brian, it's going to be fine. Let's take this in stages. I want the files on Julian and those for the performance of that branch. I want you to write a letter offering him the assistant manager's job. It's after the fact but I want it documented that you offered this to him. Then I want to know when I can meet with him."He was writing notes as I spoke."Certainly, Adam. I've got the two files right here." He handed them over. "As you can see, I'm still using the Performance Scoreboards that you designed five years ago. I think they'ire part of the culture around here now, everyone thinks about those points on the scoreboard. Julian was one of the best managers at putting together performance points for those scoreboards. I'll write the letter this morning. Clara can have it printed and we can deliver it by certified courier this afternoon. What do you think you can do by seeing Julian? He's already hired a lawyer and sued me, what good will talking do at this point?" he asked."Would you prefer to settle or go to court?" I asked directly."Well I'm not going to take this from Julian, I want my name cleared. Why would I want to settle? I want vindication! I want my name cleared! I want that punk to see that he's playing with the wrong guy!""Brian, Brian, settle down. Fighting this is going to be expensive, could be long and could have more publicity that you really want. I'm not sure what settling will cost, and I'm not sure that it can be done. I want to talk to this kid. If I can find out his perspective, find out what he really wants, maybe we can settle in a way that everyone is happy. Postpone the lawyer, and give me a phone number and time to see this kid. How do you feel about the possibility of Julian being gay?""Fuck I don't care if he's purple with little polka dots, but suing me for making a pass at him is where I draw the line. I'm sure I've got a number of gay people who work here, I don't care.""Would you take Julian back if I can work this out?" Now I was really pushing the envelope. Coming back after a harassment suit was hard on the employee and the employees that had to work around them. But it would also be the best situation to defuse the case and bring back what I think was a good employee."I'll have to think about that," he said *** *** *** *** *** *** That night I called Urban Peak and through Phil Hart got some more information about adoption and then he put Marcus on the phone."Well my little prince how has the last day and a half been? Tell me everything." I said."Phil assigned me to a room with three other guys. They're older but he said that eventually there will be other kids in the program my age and I can move in with them at that point. But the older guys are cool. Two of them have jobs and one goes to school, so they're not home during the day. Phil said that I would start school this week, but he's been too busy to take me over to school and register me. I gotta couple drawers in a dresser for my clothes and we got a radio with a tape player in our room.""You sound like you're happy there. I'm glad. I wish I could be there but we've both got our own things to do. I'm going to try and call each night if I can. But don't get upset or panicked if I miss a night, it doesn't mean that I'm ignoring you or leaving. Some times I'm on a plane or with a client in the evening and won't be able to call you every night." I'm glad that he was doing well, but I wanted to be as realistic as we could about the frequency we could actually count on.We talked for another 10 minutes. I told him about my trip and what I was doing for Brian. Marcus couldn't believe that this sort of thing would even happen. I missed him deep in my soul. Talking on the phone was the best I could do at the moment. Knowing Marcus was on the other end was all that I really needed. I didn't care if he or I said anything, so long as I could hear him breathe and know that he was there listening to me. I was originally going to do something nice for this kid, now this kid was what was nice in my life. I felt caught, but very happy. I just had to figure out how to make things work for the two of us.Eventually we hung up. It was expensive to sit on a telephone call and not talk. It seemed frivolous but it had been long enough. I pulled out my computer and plugged into the high-speed internet connection and got on Monster.com. I started searching for jobs in Denver. If I was going to adopt Marcus I needed a job and I had to be living in Denver. On the plane tomorrow I would start filling in the adoption forms. *** *** *** *** *** *** I sat in the diner. I had selected a booth far in the back. I knew it would keep the other customers away from us at this hour and probably the other waiters too. The restaurant was done in 1950's art-deco. 45rpm records were displayed on the walls, posters of movies from that day ^Ö "Jail House Rock (1957)" "Lawrence of Arabia (1962)" "Roman Holiday (1953)". There was a lot of chrome, red Formica table tops, and a boomerang abstract pattern from back then. There were juke boxes in each booth and the nickel really still worked in them for a music selection.I'd been waiting for about half an hour. Julian wasn't really late, I just wanted to be early, get the feel of the place and be comfortable and settled before he arrived. I'd reviewed the files twice since I'd arrived in Appleton. The more I read the files the more I came to believe that what I had told Brian in our meeting yesterday was actually true. I don't claim to be psychic or anything. It just seemed to be the most logical answer. I hoped that Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist I could work out a solution that would get Brian out of this.The waitress, with the checkered skirt and the little pink handkerchief pinned to her lapel, came back over with another refill for my coffee. I let her top it off. As she walked away I saw Julian open the outside door. The picture in his file was a couple years old but he looked the same age still. He had a leather bomber jacket on. His hair was short without being crew. It hung as bangs into his forehead and was neatly cut on the sides. He had a nice smooth face, clear skin with a couple pimples, one on his chin and one on his right cheek next to his nose. Not unusual at this age, still dealing with the residual issues of becoming a man, which was happening pretty obviously. He was five foot ten inches, probably 175 pounds and brown hair, parted on the right side. The eyes were dark hazel or gray, and the lips were a very luscious pink.He stood at the entry area and looked around for someone that he was supposed to meet. You've seen the look, scanning the crowd. He spotted me as I waved at him and he came back to the booth I had commandeered for the day. He stood there looking at me."Would you like to sit down?" I asked. I'd called this meeting and figured it was my responsibility to get things started."My lawyer said I shouldn't talk to you, but it was up to me. I'm not sure what you want to talk about but you're not going to change my mind about the law suit.""Sit down, and let's see if I can understand what this is all about. If you don't do this with me here, you're going to have to do it with Brian Butcher's lawyer before any trial. I'm trying to find out if I can help everyone settle this problem. Sit down, I don't bite and I might actually help.""Okay, but just to find out what you want," he said hesitantly, as he slid into the bench seat on the other side of the booth. The kid was cute. I could see Brian appreciating his looks and poise without really being gay, this kid had an attitude about him that made you want to take care of him. He was the adult version of the lost and wet puppy you find sitting on your front stoop."I've had a couple cups of coffee before you arrived but I was thinking of ordering lunch will you join me? The tab is on me," I said. I'd like to keep this casual and not have him feeling like I was grilling him."Okay, they have pretty good chili and hamburgers," he said."You eat here often Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist then?" I asked."Well when you're single in town, you get tired of cooking for yourself, and some restaurants are more conducive to eating by yourself than others. This one's not bad and the food is good."I signaled for the waitress and she came over."What would you like?" she asked."Tammy I'll have the Bustin' Burger, fries and a chocolate shake," said Julian without opening the menu."I'll have the same," I said, "make mine well done though."She left and we looked at each other. The negotiation was still in full force. I wanted to know how he was going to react and he didn't want to give any ground. His lawyer had put the fear of the devil, or me into him. This was going to take some finesse."Julian, let me establish a little background first. I'll tell you a little about myself and my relationship with the company, then I'd like you to tell me about getting hired and your first couple positions with the company. I Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist don't want to focus on the law suit yet. I just want to get to know you and I'd like you to get to know me. Okay?""Yeah, sure, go ahead, it's your quarter.""I started working with Brian about eleven years ago. Generally I was an accountant and financial consultant. I've worked in this industry for about fifteen years. In the last ten years I've worked with companies not only about their financial situation but also about performance standards like productivity, marketing, asset management, sales training and customer satisfaction. Brian tells me that you were one of the most impressive managers in implementing the performance scoreboards that I designed for him about seven years ago. What did you like about those?""Well, they were pretty obvious measures of how people were doing. I just found that others would get things done better if I established specific job functions and found ways to measure them. Sometimes I even made it a game and they seemed to enjoy it even more." There was a spark of excitement when he got going on the subject, but then about three quarters of the way through he seemed to catch himself and he toned down the enthusiasm. I think this might work, if I can get him going."How did you find the job with Brian? Was it advertised in the paper or was it a bulletin board or on the Internet?""Josh was a friend of mine and his dad, Anthony, worked for Brian. One day I mentioned that I was looking for a job and Anthony, said he might have a job at his company. When I came in to interview he introduced me to Brian.""Tell me about the first interview.""Gosh, I don't know. Brian asked about what I had taken in school, what else I had done, which wasn't much and he gave me a tour of the company.""What job were you applying for?" I asked."At that time I would have taken anything. I had just graduated from high school and I just needed a job. They offered me a job in packaging and it paid more than McDonalds.""What was your impression of Brian in the interview?" I asked."He was a pretty cool boss. Everyone obviously liked him. When we toured the place he knew everyone by name and seemed to even know their families. He seemed to really take an interest in whoever he was talking to. He introduced me to a lot of people there and really made me feel like I was important. He had a way of putting his arm around your shoulder and presenting you to people that made you feel like you were his favorite friend."There was a point that I needed to talk to Brian about."Who did you report to when you started?" I continued my questions."Jerry Crandall was the department manager, but Brian came to many of the department meetings. He was always easy to talk to. If I didn't know what he was talking about during a department meeting, I'd just ask him after the session. He always had time for questions.""What sort of questions were you asking, or what did you need from him?""Gosh, he just answered anything that came up. He talked about the changes in the business, the new processes, the productivity and other stuff. He is real smart," Julian said.Burgers and milkshakes arrived and we stopped for a few minutes to begin the attack on the entrées. The burgers were good and the milkshakes were the real thing. Julian had a smear of ketchup from the hamburger on his chin that I wanted to reach over and clean off but I knew this was not the situation to do that. With my mouth still full, I motioned to him and brushed my chin to indicate that he needed to clean his chin. He reached down and brought up his napkin and wiped from right to left, making a bigger smudge than he had before. I smiled and Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist shook my head, letting him know that he had to do it again. He pushed the napkin into his water glass and got it wet and did it again. That took care of it.With a few bites of burger to finally absorb the sloshing coffee that was at the pit of my stomach, I set the sandwich down and started my next series of questions. "Brian tells me that you got promoted quickly. What do you think helped you achieve such quick advancement?""I enjoyed meeting the production and productivity expectations they established at each level. I used to go home at night and sit at my dining room table and work out how I could meet the quota before anyone else. When I did that they liked what I was doing and I got promoted. Sometimes I came in with new ideas about how to organize the production line and other times I just tried to Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist figure out how we could change what we did so that we got more pieces per hour. Jerry really liked what I did and brought Brian down to see it. That first time Brian had us come up to his conference room and do a presentation for all the managers. I'd never done that before and was really scared, but Brian introduced us and put his arm around my shoulder and told everyone what I had done and how proud he was of our department. I figured if he was supporting us I couldn't make too big a mess of explaining what we had done. I don't think I'll ever forget that first meeting in the conference room. The maroon carpet, the big long table, the fancy chairs, the paneled walls, all that stuff was so neat.""Julian, tell me about your family. What do your parents do, do you have any brothers or sisters? How old are they?" I asked. I had a feeling I knew the answers. The last couple weeks had been teaching me many things and I think I knew what he was going to unfold to me as he answered this question."My father is an engineer for Mead and my mother is a legal secretary. I have a brother and sister, both younger than me. Joel is 16 and Robyn is 13. They're still in high school. I got my own apartment when I graduated from high school." He didn't explain this with a lot of warmth and emotion. In fact, he was rather curt about the subject. His eyes didn't look at me while he explained this."Julian, how do you get along with your brother?" I asked."Oh Joel's an okay kid. He's kinda geaky but not bad. Dad takes him to all these science fairs and science Olympiads. They really get into the science stuff. I was never good at that. That's why I really enjoyed working for Brian. It's what I was good at.""Tell me about your sister," I asked him to continue."Robyn is a cheer leader for the freshman team and she competed for junior miss last year. She's real busy and mom spends most of her time before and after work getting her to practice and training.""You didn't like coming out here to Appleton did you?" I asked. I think I was really piecing this together."Yeah, I really did. It was a promotion and Brian was really counting on me to turn it around. It was just not what I thought I would find here. There weren't performance expectations that I could beat, like before. And Brian didn't like the job I was doing; all he's ever done since I came out here is send me memos about how bad I'm doing.""Julian, if we stopped this conversation now, I'd crucify you in court and Brian would win. But that wasn't why I came out here to talk to you. I wanted to find out if we could work out a way to keep you as an employee. You're one of the best employees that Brian has and I want this to work for both of you. You didn't really want to sue Brian did you?" I needed to get some agreement and see if I could move this negotiation in my direction."No but he . . . He said I was doing a bad job and he was taking the branch away. He didn't care what I was doing anymore. All he was doing was criticizing me. I couldn't do anything right anymore, then he came out here with his performance scoreboards and financial reports and just yelled at me. I guess I kinda got druink and said some things I shouldn't, but he just didn't understand what I'd been trying to do or keeping inside. I've worked my tail off for that guy and then he was going to fire me."I could sense the anger and frustration but underneath it I could also feel the affection and love he had for Brian. I think I was right. It was time to try the whole story on Julian."Julian, I'm going to tell you how I see this entire situation. I want you to be patient with what I'm telling you and listen for what I'm saying. I really want this to end up good for you, I'm not looking to go to court and I want you and Brian to be able to get together again as friends. Would that be a solution that you'd like to see also?" In sales training they tell you to get the prospect to continue saying yes and eventually they will have said yes so many times that they will think buying your product was their idea. I was trying to work on the same premise."I never wanted to hurt Brian but he was firing me and it wasn't my fault the branch wasn't performing. He never came out here and saw it for himself. I tried to tell him what was going on and he just kept sending me memos." His voice had a little crack to it as he was telling me and I think there was some understanding that he wasn't totally justified in what he had done, but he didn't know how to say it."From what you've told me, from what Brian has told me, from looking at the performance scoreboards and financial statements, I have an impression that I want to tell you in my words. Then I want to tell you what I think we can do that will work for everyone. First, you joined Brian's company with no other experience and found an ability that you didn't know you had, and everyone was pretty excited at how good you were, right?" He nodded his head."You received recognition for these improvements and it really felt good, right? You didn't get this type of recognition from your father, the scientist. Your mother was really busy with your sister's competition and cheer leading, and between the two of them you didn't get much attention. Getting this recognition at work was something you'd always wanted and it came almost easy when you applied yourself. That wasn't bad, but for you it was new. You've never had that at school or at home. I think it was feeling so good that you kept trying to do more to make sure that it kept happening. That's not bad either, but sometimes you reach a point where you have maxed out what can be done and what you are capable of."Julian was playing with the straw in his milkshake while he listened to me, but he was listening."I think Brian was pretty proud of you for what you had done in five years with the company. He was trying to take care of a problem out here and give you a promotion. What he didn't see was the support system that you had back at the main branch was very strong and here you had no one. You used Preteen Pthc 100 Toplist to talk things over with Brian and other managers. You need the support of other people. Here you were thrown out on your own. Emails, phone calls and memos were not very supportive. You weren't doing a bad job here, you just didn't have the support people to bounce ideas off of and you began to really feel alone. The more alone you felt the worse you felt about the memos and emails talking about the branch performance. Those weren't meant to be personal but I think they became that for you. Your talent is not in being a lone wolf. You are not the guy that leads the charge over the hill, but you are the guy that sees the enemy on the side of the hill and you set up the artillery to take them out. You are a very important part of a company; you just got put in the wrong place."He had raised his head and was watching me by this point. Maybe I had expressed some things he had felt but not known were even happening to him."Here's what I would like to propose, it may surprise you."**********************************************************************Send comments to: adambricktomcup.comTo support this and other stories by the author, join at http://www.tomcup.com.If you like this story, check out Tom Cup's "Calvin: A Coming of Age Story." Available at Barnes and Nobles Bookstores, Amazon.com, your local independent bookseller, or get a copy from Tom Cup.com.Tom Cup's "Of Our Teenage Years" is scheduled for publication and release in paperback in 2004. Check it out at http://www.tomcup.com!****************************************************************

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